Opinions. Everyone has them. Everyone has a view on something, whether it’d be politics or even entertainment. Hell, this entire blog consists of me sharing my opinions with you readers. I normally don’t care whether my views line up with the general consensus or not, but there are moments where I went against the grain, whether it’d be a song, album, artist, group/band, etc. And that gave me the idea of doing this list where I give you some of my unpopular music opinions. Now this list will be shorter than others at seven instead of the usual 10 or higher and I will explain why I feel the way I do. I don’t expect a lot of agreement with these opinions, so let’s get started.
LIMP BIZKIT IS NOT THE WORST BAND IN THE WORLD
When it comes to the worst of rock music, certain bands will always be mentioned and Limp Bizkit is one of those bands. Maybe it’s partly nostalgia, but I don’t hate this band. This is not me saying that Limp Bizkit is good because they’re not, but there is some legit talent behind them. Wes Borland is one hell of a guitarist, Sam Rivers is a good bassist, John Otto can utilize many different drumming styles, and then there’s DJ Lethal on the turntables, whose scratches gives the band a unique sound. This is not an untalented band. What’s unfortunately holding them back is their frontman Fred Durst, whose writing has the mentality of an annoying 13 year old boy with worse vocals, whether he’s rapping or singing or even screaming like he does in the band’s cover of George Michael’s Faith. If it wasn’t for Fred Durst and the shitty songwriting, Limp Bizkit would have been a great band. But things don’t always work out that way. C’est la vie.
NEEDLESSLY LONG ALBUMS/MIXTAPES ARE RARELY GOOD
Any time I see an album or mixtape tracklist and it’s at ridiculous lengths, I get concerned. But then I step back and think what are the artist’s intentions for the project, whether it’d be a concept album, a collection of tracks made for a party, or something more personal to the artist. You can get away with a long tracklist with a concept album and maybe with a personal project, but I noticed that most, not all, artists that are putting out these projects with 20 or more tracks are doing so in order to gain bigger streaming numbers. Just look at the latest albums from Drake, Migos, Juice WRLD, and even Chris Brown, whose last two albums have over 40 tracks on them. What sane, grounded individual wants to listen to 40 tracks from Chris fucking Brown? Hell, this isn’t even a new phenomenon. You can go back to the 90s and look at the catalog of No Limit and Cash Money Records. Because of the length, these albums always drag and are handicapped by needless filler tracks that are interchangeable with one another. This is one of those major nitpicks that will always bug me in terms of albums.
JAY Z IS OVERRATED
Now this one might not seem that controversial among certain hip-hop circles that lean more towards the underground while in others, Jay Z is considered a legend (which he is). But in terms of best rappers of all time, I don’t consider Jay to be Top 20. He hit his peaks with four of his albums: Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, The Black Album, and 4:44. The rest range from good-but-not-great to mediocre (looking at you, Kingdom Come). A good chunk of his songs fall into the “okay” category, especially the more commercial tracks that were made to be played on radio. On a technical level, Jay is a good rapper, but he’s not at the level of a Biggie or a Nas. What helps him a lot is that he has quotable lines that stick. Plus, he is a businessman. Oh, I’m sorry. I mean, the business, MAN. See what I mean when it comes to quotables? The Drake-Jay Z comparisons make sense by the days as both are commercial rappers who are considered to be number one and are entrepreneurs. Again, Jay Z is good, but the greatest of all time? Nah.
BOY BANDS ARE NOT INHERENTLY A BAD THING
Boy bands are some of the easiest targets in the music community thanks to their commercial image and legion of fangirls who go crazy over them. I feel like certain critics are a bit harsh towards these groups. If you move aside the fluff, there are some quality pop material to be found with these boy bands. A great example of this is the Backstreet Boys. Songs like Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) and I Want It That Way are pop classics. Their contemporary rivals NSYNC are no slacks, either, though their songs aren’t as good. Before them, there was New Kids On The Block, who’ve had their fair share of stinkers, but they also gave us Step By Step. New Edition and the Jackson 5 could be considered boy bands, though as they got older, they transitioned from pop to R&B. Another group that could be considered a boy band in their early days? The Beatles. A lot of their early hits were simple love songs that wouldn’t sound out of place if they were sung by One Direction, a boy band who’s much better than I gave credit for, especially in their later years. Point of the matter is don’t be too dismissive of these groups. Yeah, some of them are too bubblegum-ish and Radio Disney-friendly, but there’s some diamonds in the rough that are worth looking at.
A LOT OF 80s HIP-HOP HAS NOT AGED WELL
I might get some flak from some oldheads for this, but hip hop in its early days of the 80s have aged like milk. Don’t get me wrong, artists like Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Eric B. & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy, Slick Rick, and other pioneers have made classics that pushed the culture forward and songs like The Message still holds up to this day. But that doesn’t apply to everything because there are some artists and songs that were pretty much a product of the times. A lot of rappers used the same kind of flow. Seriously, a whole bunch of rappers at the time rapped in the same flow and cadence. And people complain about the flows of today’s hip-hop. A bunch of songs that would be considered classics aren’t that great in hindsight like Rapper’s Delight. Yeah, that song is a memorable landmark, but it’s also really corny, especially when you hear the extended version. There’s a reason why many people consider the 90s to be a golden era for hip-hop and not the 80s.
BEING LYRICAL DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MAKE A GREAT RAPPER
This is one that I’ve come to accept in recent years and among certain circles, this kind of opinion isn’t that unpopular. I still appreciate when a rapper can show off some amazing lyrical skills and wordplay. But when it comes to making a song, that alone is not enough. If you’re not saying anything, if you don’t have a distinct personality, or if the music doesn’t compliment you well, then all of those lyrical miracles mean nothing and your music won’t have much replay value. It’s no different from trap rappers who aren’t great at rapping and don’t have much else going for them. Both opposite extremes rely on flash and style to make up for a lack of or little substance. A great example of this is Logic, a talented rapper whose music lately has been lacking in substance or has been brought down by muddy execution. It takes balance to be a great rapper.
STAN CULTURE IS TOXIC
I’ve been wanting to do a special post discussing this, but I didn’t know how to put it together. Oxford defines a stan as “an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity” and also “be an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity.” This term originated back in 2000 thanks to the Eminem song Stan, which is about an obsessive fan named Stan. These days, in the era of social media, stans have formed their own habitat where they are able to interact with their idols and like-minded people. If you’re on Twitter and you follow Billboard or chart data or Pop Crave, chances are you’ve come across them, mentioning their favorite artists even when the tweet they’re responding to has nothing to do with them. Whether it’d be the Arianators, the Beliebers, the Directioners, the Barbies, the BeyHive, the KatyCats, the Little Monsters, the Swifties, etc. Having a community of people who share the same interests is one thing, but here’s where things get out of hand. Say, for instance, some journalist has some mild criticism for Ariana Grande or Nicki Minaj. Those stans will pounce on that journalist like lions to a zebra and start harassing them and even going as far as making death threats and doxxing them. That, right there, is unacceptable. And it’s crazy because the people that they idolize would usually try to spread a message of love and positivity while these sycophants do the exact opposite towards anyone with an opposing view. I’m not suggesting that these artists control what their fans are doing because that’s impossible and overreaching, but don’t condone or enable it. A simple post is all it takes. Stan culture makes the discord around music more difficult because with them, the conversation devolves to calling the opposition haters (and all kinds of derogatory terms) and listing their favorites’ accomplishments. The immature way they operate is like a sport where they’re rooting for their team, no matter what, and can never find fault in them. It’s their religion, their idols are God to them and the music they listen to might as well be their Bible. This mentality not only wears out the mental health of the people being harassed, but the stans themselves, even when they don’t acknowledge it. And that is why I believe that stan culture is toxic.
And those were some of my unpopular opinions. What opinions do you have that’s contrary to the popular consensus? Comment below and let me know.